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Xinjiang Re-Education Camps Duplicated in Tibet

The BBC reported in July that Lobsang Sangay, the Tibetan president-in-exile, said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has set up camps in Tibet to hold Tibetans, duplicating the Muslim Uyghur camps in Xinjiang. “We do have these camps but not as large as the Uyghurs, so a lot of people are sent for education through labor, imprisonment, and detention.”

On October 29, 2019, RFA reported on the Tibetan camps in greater detail. RFA interviewed Dawa Cairen, a representative of the Tibetan Executive Central Committee in Dharamsala, India. He explained that the CCP is using “vocational training schools” to brainwash young Tibetans forcibly while calling it “patriotic education.”

Dawa Cairen said that, in 2008, the Chinese government, in the name of national compulsory education, forced almost all Tibetan children to move into boarding schools. The schools isolated those children from their mother culture, that of Tibet. The schools followed militarized management, preventing students from going out and in effect turning the schools into prisons.

The CCP recently discovered a gap in its control of the Tibetan youth. In recent years, many students have graduated from those compulsory education schools. Among them, those who did not get into college went home, to monasteries, or to other places where they could learn traditional Tibetan culture, or such subjects as Tibetan sculpture or Tibetan calligraphy.

The CCP recently rushed to establish “vocational training schools” to gather those young men back under its control. These vocational schools do not have standard offerings. Some just teach whatever the teachers they find are able to teach. “They may teach nursing today, animal treatment tomorrow, and machinery maintenance the day after. There are no real courses.”

“The main things that (those vocational straining schools) teach is the (CCP’s) laws, the religions that are under the CCP’s control, patriotism education, and CCP history. Students must learn, memorize, and take tests on these subjects. The schools give rewards to those who learn these subjects well, such as vacation days to go home.”

Students are required to sing “red songs” (the songs praising the CCP) before each meal at those schools.

Dawa Cairen said that he received reliable information that the CCP had arrested a couple because they sent their child to a monastery after he graduated from the 10th grade. The CCP threatened to sentence them if they wouldn’t take their son out of the monastery, but the parents chose to be sentenced to keep their child in the monastery, because they felt that it was their child’s will to be a monk. Then the CCP arrested the child, and forced the parents to yield.

Dawa Cairen pointed out that some Tibetans have been arrested for running Tibetan-language tutoring classes during students’ summer and winter vacations. One Tibetan who advocated teaching the Tibetan language was even sentenced to five years in prison for “inciting secession.”

The report said that there is a “vocational technical training school” in Lhasa, Tibet. The authorities have asked the governments of the seven counties and one district, all under the jurisdiction of Lhasa, to send their rural youths who might have the rebel spirit to the school for brainwashing education.

The report included a satellite picture of a “vocational technical training school” in Lhasa. [Editor’s note: From the information in that picture, we can see that this school is located in Cainaxiang, 39 km southwest of Lhasa and 25 km north of the Lhasa Airport.]

1. Radio Free Asia, October 29, 2019
2. BBC, July 1, 2019

Guideline for Implementing the Student Informant System at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law

{Editor’s Note: Student informants are an institutional arrangement of the Chinese regime where the universities appoint students as informants to report to the school administration. Although on the surface the purpose is to collect information on academic activities, the student informants are the ears and eyes of the Communist Party authorities in the universities and are an important component of the university’s “ideological and political work.”

As early as the Cultural Revolution, the party committees at the universities organized the students to report on faculty members in their “battles against anti-party and anti-socialist gangs.” After the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, the regime systematically established student informants in key Chinese universities. In 2005, the arrangement was expanded to almost every university and even some high schools. Recent years have seen stories of student informants reporting on teacher’s so-called “reactionary” remarks. One example is Chinascope’s briefing: “Professor in Exile: Chinese Universities Are under Strict Surveillance” {1}.

The article translated here is a guideline for hiring student informants. It is from the website of the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, an average university in China.} {2}

A Guideline for Implementing the Student Informant System at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law

Article 1 This guideline is developed to mobilize the enthusiasm of undergraduate students to participate in the management of academic activities, (for the university), to provide a timely appraisal of information on academic affairs and management, and, further, to improve the quality of education.

Article 2 The Student Informant’ System is a system in which the Office of Academic Affairs, following particular standards and procedures, appoints undergraduate students to investigate academic activities, and collect and report teaching and management information.

Article 3 The criteria for selecting a student informant:

1. A love of the management of academic affairs, caring about the university’s teaching reform, and having a strong sense of service consciousness;
2. Being responsible, objective and fair, and is one who teachers and students trust;
3. Holds an excellent academic standing with an excess of capability;
4. Has good writing and verbal communication skills, has a strong sense of cooperation and is a team player;
5. Is familiar with the university’s regulations on academic activities and teaching management.

Article 4 In principle, each administrative class shall have one student informant with minimal personnel change. The selection process is as follows:

1. Each class recommends the candidate. After that, the college goes through a review and an approval process. The candidate must fill out the “Zhongnan University of Economics and Law Undergraduate Student Informant Registration Form.” After the university approves the application and it is stamped with the college’s official seal, it can be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs.
2. The Office of Academic Affairs will then publicize the list of candidates on the university’s website. For candidates that receive no objection after this exposure, the University appoints them as the student informants and issues a letter of appointment.
3. The Office of Academic Affairs can directly renew the appointment of excellent student informants (skipping step 1 and 2).

Article 5 The term of the offer is, in general, one year.

Article 6 Student informants shall perform the following duties:

1. Collect and report issues in everyday academic activities, especially classroom teaching and academic management; make suggestions to and communicate with academic management;
2. Collect and report issues in teaching facilities, equipment and its management, and on the sanitation of surroundings;
3. Collect and report issues on exam schedules, exam methods, exam contents, exam ethics, and the performance of informants;
4. Collect and report issues in the selection and distribution of teaching materials, as well as settling accounts for teaching material payments;
5. Assist the Office of Academic Affairs in conducting classroom teaching quality evaluations;
6. Collect and report on other academic activities.

Article 7 Student informants shall perform their duties diligently, collect and report all kinds of teaching activities and academic management information at least three times each semester, fill out the “Zhongnan University of Economics and Law University Teaching Information Feedback Form,” and submit it to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Article 8 At the end of each school year, the Office of Academic Affairs shall conduct a performance review of the student informants. After passing the assessment, the student informant can get two extra curriculum credits; for those who actively participate in the teaching management work with outstanding performance. The Office of Academic Affairs will issue the Excellent Student Informant certificate and offer an award.

Article 9 For those who are irresponsible and who fail to perform their duties as a student informant, they will be dismissed following the completion of the performance assessment.

Article 10 The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for the interpretation of this guideline.

Article 11 The guideline shall be effective on the date of issuance.


1, The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law Undergraduate Student Informant Registration Form
2, The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law University Teaching Information Feedback Form
3, The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law University Student Informant Evaluation Form

{1} Chinascope, Professor in Exile: Chinese Universities Are under Strict Surveillance, October 1, 2018.
{2} The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law website, “Guideline for Implementing the Student Informant System at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law,” April 20, 2015.

Chen Yun’s Thoughts in the 1970s on Research, Utilization, and the Vigilance against Capitalism and Its Contemporary Value

{Editor’s Note: For years, the U.S. government, media, and scholars have characterized the U.S. China policy as a process of engagement. The thinking was that, through contact and exchanges, the U.S. would gradually transform China into a free and democratic society under the rule of law. Continue reading